The Willing Perfect Servant
The Old Testament is a book of shadows of the coming Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He is the central figure of the Bible. The apostle Paul speaking of the Old Testament scriptures under the law said in Col. 2:17 – “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” A shadow is a faint representation of an object or body. Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the Scriptures…they are they which testify of me.” In these shadows and types we find the outline of our precious Lord.
Ex. 21:1-6 - “Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.”
This is one of the statutes God have unto Israel. Its chief value for us today is its spiritual application to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a most beautiful foreshadow of His person and work. Prophetically speaking, Jesus says in Psalm 40, “Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; Mine ears hast Thou digged;” Proving that the servant brings out in type the Perfect Servant.
Messianic prophecies frequently view Him as Servant. Isa. 42:1, “Behold My Servant, whom I uphold.” Isa. 52:13, “Behold My Servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.” Isa. 53:11, “By His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many for He shall bear their iniquities.” Zech. 3:8, “Behold I will bring forth My Servant.”
Philippians 2:5-8 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
He stooped from the highest authority to the utmost dependency, took the form of a Servant, humbled Himself to suffering and shame, even the death of the cross. May we reverently contemplate it with awe and adoration.
The Gospel of Mark tells of His service as the Perfect Servant. Also in Hebrews 10:9 we read His utterance when he took the form of a Servant. “Lo, I come, to do Thy will O God.” At the age of 12, he said, “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business.” John 6:38 sums up the whole of His life as He tabernacled among men, “I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” Rom. 15;3, He “pleased not Himself.” Luke 22:27, “I am among you as He that serveth.” Never did He deviate from the path of complete submission to the Father’s will.
In the type of Ex. 21, The owner is God. The 6 years (6 is the number of man as we read in Rev. 13:18); man’s responsibility was to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…and thy neighbor as thyself.” Man could not keep the holy law of God, for the law showed all mankind to be guilty before God. Jesus said in Mt. 5:17, “think not that I am come to destroy the law…but to fulfill it.” Every demand of God upon men was fully met by the Perfect Man. Christ is the only man ever to fully discharge man’s responsibility Godward and manward.
“If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.” Jesus had no wife when He entered His service. He was entitled to go out free, but alone, by Himself.
“…if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.” Love was the cause that compelled him to forego the freedom He was entitled to, a 3-fold love, for His Master, His wife and His children.
On the mount of transfiguration he could have gone out free, for He had fully met the Law requirements. In the Gospel of John His love is told forth as no where else. It is there we read Him saying, “the hour is come that the son of Man should be glorified…except the corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone…But for this cause came I unto this hour.” No matter what that terrible hour contained, He would go through it in His love to His Father, first of all and to us. Love led Him to undertake a service that the law did not lay upon Him and that service involved suffering and the cross.
“I love my wife” said prospectively, for the Lord Jesus is to have a bride. The “wife” is carefully distinguished from His “children,” which all are the fruit of His death. His wife was the joy set before Him that He endured the cross – Heb. 12:2. “He so loved the church and gave Himself for it, That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, That He might present it to Himself a Glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (His Bride)- Eph. 5:25-28. He has many children, the innumerable company of Rev. 7:9; the 144,000 of Rev. 14; and the redeemed nation of Israel. Only on resurrection ground is man’s union with Christ possible, which necessitated His death. On resurrection morning was the first time He called His disciples “brethren.”
“His master shall bore his ear through with an aul.” This was the mark of the servant’s entire devotedness to His Master. It was at the door-post. Jesus is the door and all who enter there, are in the household of God. It was His master who bored his ear. Jesus bore the judgment of God against sin. The Hebrew servant carried about in his body the mark of his servitude as long as he lived. Our Lord wears forever in His body the marks of the cross. After He had risen from the dead, He said to doubting Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into My side.” We read also in Rev. chapter 5 of Him, the Lamb “as it had been slain.”
“He shall serve his master forever.” The service of the Lord Jesus did not terminate when he left earth.
Though He ascended on high, He is still ministering to His own. “He ever liveth to make intercession for them” – Heb. 7:25. In His love He ever delights to minister unto His beloved ones. Oh praise the Lord, He declined to go out free; and the duration of His service as our High Priest is for ever.
Consider I Cor. 15:24-28, In the last dispensation, the seventh Age, the millennium, the Father will take a sabbath rest and the Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign for 1,000 years, as God Almighty, King of kings and Lord of lords. But at the end of that 1,000 years, he will be subject unto His Father forever. “He shall serve Him forever.”
E. J. D.